Train crash in Czech Republic leaves 3 dead, dozens injured | News | DW | 04.08.2021

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Train crash in Czech Republic leaves 3 dead, dozens injured

A train from Germany has collided with a regional train in the Czech Republic, with several people dying in the crash. Czech authorities suspect the incident was caused by human error.

The high-speed train from Germany photographed on the tracks as Czech emergency services work at the scene

The Czech Transport Minister said the German EX 351 high-speed train failed to observe a stop signal

Two trains collided near the Czech town of Pilsen on Wednesday after 6 am UTC, leaving three people dead and 31 injured. A further six people were critically injured.

Authorities said victims include the drivers of both engines and a female passenger.

Local emergency services said four helicopters helped transport victims to hospital. 

Pictures from the scene show a badly damaged high-speed driver's cab near the track with emergency workers attending to the incident.

Express train from Munich collided with local service

Local media say the two trains were an EX 351 high-speed locomotive from Germany, and the Czech OS 7406 train between the Domazlice and Blizejov stations. According to the Czech Railways website, the EX 351 is an express service from Munich to Prague, while the OS 7406 is a regional service.

Czech emergency services pictured at the scene of Wednesday's crash involving a German high-speed train and a Czech regional service train

Drivers of both trains lost their lives in the crash

Czech police said the German Rescue Cross, an ambulance service from Bavaria, and doctors from Cham in southeastern Germany were also at the scene. German police offered to assist due to the amount of German nationals injured.

Czech officials hint at human error

While police have launched a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash, initial findings indicate the high-speed train failed to observe a stop signal. The Czech Transport Minister Karel Havlicek blamed human error for the incident. Havlicek took to Twitter, writing: "The EX 351 went through a signal indicating stop [...] and collided with a passenger train." 

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis expressed his sympathies to those affected, tweeting "Sincere condolences to the families of the dead. It is important to save other lives. Then everything must be investigated."

kb/aw (AFP, Reuters)